Devin Haney shuns ‘Fighter of the Year,’ eyes bigger prize

By Robbie Bannatyne - 12/28/2023 - Comments

Devin Haney says he doesn’t care about being named the 2023 ‘Fighter of the Year and is only interested in trying to become ‘Fighter of the Decade.’

(Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom or Melina Pizano/Matchroom)

For Haney to say he’s not interested in the honor is a sign that he feels it’s unattainable, so he’s downplaying the significance of the 2023 ‘Fighter of the Year’ award by making it seem unimportant to him. Then if Haney does lose, he can say he never wanted it in the first place. It’s a clever trick on his part.

Haney’s victories this year came against a pair of 35-year-old fighters, Regis Prograis and Vasily Lomachenko. Fans highly criticized his win over Loma, who viewed it as a robbery and felt that there should have been a rematch to clear it up. Haney chose not to do that, and it made him look bad.

Haney’s competition for the 2023 Fighter of the Year award:

– Terence Crawford
– Naoya Inoue

One of those two fighters is expected to get the Fighter of the Year award. Haney’s wins this year weren’t on the level of Crawford and Inoue’s wins, as they won without controversy, and they didn’t choose old guys like the two fossils that Devin defeated.

If Haney is on the level of his goal of long-term dominance, he needs to raise the bar of the opposition he’s facing. Instead of fighting the influencer Ryan Garcia, Devin should be facing the killers who could create a true legacy, not a superficial one, like he’s been doing during his entire professional career.

Fighters Haney should be facing:

Shakur Stevenson: At 135
Subriel Matias
Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
Teofimo Lopez
Gervonta Davis: At 135
Edwin De Los Santos
Tim Tszyu
David Benavidez: At 168, which is Devin’s true weight class
Frank Martin
Vasily Lomachenko: rematch in a neutral state, not Nevada.
Raymond Muratalla
David Morrell

Haney camp denies leaked PPV numbers

“It shouldn’t be leaked to him. Who is he? How did you get that information? They’re not going to answer,” said Bill Haney to 78sportstv about Devin Haney’s low PPV numbers being leaked to the media for his fight on DAZN against Regis Prograis on December 9th.

Bill Haney should ask DAZN to reveal the PPV results for Devin’s fight against Prograis if he wants to refute the reports of the woefully poor numbers. DAZN would surely help Bill out, but he may not like what is revealed to him.

In that case, it would be best for Bill to leave it alone and just tell the fans, ‘We failed this time, but we’ll try harder in the future and pick out the best.’

“We’re building, but no one is showing us the numbers. We’re building, but no one is showing us the analytics,” said Bill. “What was I supposed to do when Rick [Glaser] leaked the 55 [thousand PPV buys for Haney vs. Prograis]? Rick’s stuff isn’t right when it’s Tank. His stuff isn’t right when it’s Dev.

The Engine and the Road Ahead

“The man is up here gossiping as if it’s true,” said Bill, in denial about the low PPV numbers reported for his son Devin’s fight. “He’s [Rick] not a used car salesman. He was running the mileage back on the odometer, but he was selling the car with low miles, but the engine was a lemon.”

There are some real concerns about Devin Haney’s ability to attract pay-per-view buys, and it doesn’t help Bill try to dodge reality with his wacky analogy. Something needs to change if Devin is going to become a PPV star, and these would be good starting points:

  • Choose high-quality opposition: Stop selecting older fighters who are on their last legs
  • Stay in the pocket: The pull-back style that Haney uses is poison for PPV. Fans don’t want to see Haney copying Shakur Stevenson’s fighting style.
  • Focus on knockouts

“The engine had 100,000 miles, but when you go buy the car, it says 15,000 miles, but it’s shaking like a crap game,” said Bill, not wanting to admit that Devin’s pay-per-view numbers for terrible for the fight against the ancient fossil on DAZN.

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